Directed by Daniel Markowicz, ‘Soulcatcher’ is a Netflix Polish action film revolving around a deadly weapon and plot for political power. Centering around a machine called “The Soulcatcher,” which shoots out energy that turns people into mindless barbaric shells of their old selves, the film follows Robert “Fang” Kieł, a former special forces agent turned military contractor. After Fang’s brother dies by the Soulcatcher, Fang and his ragtag group of combat experts are recruited for a covert mission to bring about the deadly device’s destruction.
With entertaining performances by Piotr Witkowski, Aleksandra Adamska, and Jacek Koman, the film crafts a thrilling narrative about an experimental weapon. However, regardless of the story’s central sci-fi elements, the narrative maintains an everpresent theme of political corruption and morality. As such, viewers might wonder if the film has any basis in reality. If so, here is everything you need to know about the same!
Is Soulcatcher a True Story?
No, ‘Soulcatcher’ is not based on a true story. The events and characters explored within the film’s narrative are works of fiction created by director Daniel Markowicz, who co-wrote the film alongside screenwriter Dawid Kowalewicz. The film marks a second collaboration between the director/writer duo following their 2022 film ‘Shadows.’ Their past history with one another likely helped them craft ‘Soulcatcher’ with existing knowledge of each other’s quirks and traits.
Likewise, prior to this film, lead actor Piotr Witkowski had worked with Markowicz a few times, most notably in the 2019 film ‘Diablo. The Race for Everything’ and the 2022 thriller film ‘Lesson Plan.’ The latter, in particular, holds a recognizable similarity to ‘Soulcatcher,’ in regard to Witkowski’s characters. In both films, Witkowski embodies a similar role of a brooding, mysterious man who embarks on a mission fueled by his need for revenge after someone close to him dies. This character trope of a likable, skilled, and tormented man fits Witkowski like a glove, who seamlessly brings a unique charm with his performances.
In ‘Soulcatcher,’ Fang presents the moral center of the film, with numerous other characters looking up to him for support and guidance. However, at times Fang comes across as lost himself, given the monumental loss he suffers at the film’s start. This juxtaposition within his character informs his authenticity and compels the viewers to root for him. Furthermore, it also plays a crucial role in his character development. As the film progresses, Fang gradually realizes he needs to do his own bidding instead of listening to another authority figure’s orders. This rebellious and self-reliant narrative is infamously found within protagonists since it encourages the audience to cheer for the characters more.
Similarly, the supporting cast of characters made up of a powerhouse of a man, Bull, who has a soft center; the no-nonsense Storm, loyal Harbir; and loveable sidekick, Krzysztof, imbues the story with a diverse emotional center that several people might appreciate. On an alternative, thematic note, the film equips a number of recognizable building blocks from different genres and impressively creates a cohesive singular narrative with them. The concept of corrupt, power-hungry politicians is a tried-and-true trope in any method of storytelling. Still, action movies have a considerable supply of the same with movies like ‘White House Down‘ and ‘Olympus Has Fallen.’
As for the film’s more sci-fi aspect, it definitely employs a more original idea of a weapon that turns people into killing machines. However, the outlandish idea is immensely grounded in reality due to the details surrounding it. The same is achieved by molding the backstory behind the device around a medical experiment and preserving the storyline within the confines of a political conspiracy. Ultimately, the character’s relatable portrayal alongside the story’s political center generates a sense of realism. For the most part, the plot is aptly realistic. Nevertheless, the sci-fi aspect, which exists as the film’s thematic and narrative nucleus, firmly cements the story in the realm of fiction.
Read More: Where Was Netflix’s Soulcatcher Filmed?